Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott joined NPR News in the spring of 2009 to launch a new blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Frank James.

"The Two-Way" is the place where NPR.org gives readers breaking news and analysis — and where it engages users in conversations ("two-ways") about the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Memmott came to NPR from USA Today, where for over 20 years he worked as a reporter and editor on subjects ranging from politics and, foreign affairs to economics and the media.

In recent years he helped launch and then led three different news blogs at USATODAY.com, including the website's 2008 presidential campaign blog, On Politics.

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8:30am

Thu February 9, 2012

8:05am

Thu February 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Women In Combat: Inevitable?

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 5:43 pm

American soldiers Kris Kuntz (left) and Hayley Barner in Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, last October.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Tom Bowman reports

The word that Pentagon rules may soon "catch up a bit with reality" as the military considers formally allowing women to do something that they've already been asked to do in Iraq and Afghanistan — serve close to the front lines but technically not "in combat" — raises a question.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reports, the new rules still wouldn't allow women to serve in front line combat jobs such as infantry, armor or Special Forces.

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7:05am

Thu February 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Greek Government Reaches Austerity Deal That's Key To Bailout Payment

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi says he's been told by GreekPrime Minister Lucas Papademos that a deal has been reached on new austerity measures that Eurozone finance ministers have been seeking from Greece before it gets a crucial $173 billion bailout, The Financial Times is reporting.

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6:38am

Thu February 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Drop By 15,000

The number of Americans who filed first-time claims for jobless benefits dipped to 358,000 last week, down by 15,000 from a revised 373,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

At 358,000, claims were the lowest they've been since March 2008.

The "four-week moving average" number of claims was "366,250, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week's revised average of 377,250."

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6:10am

Thu February 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Settlement Reached With Banks On Relief For Some Homeowners

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 10:46 am

"After negotiating through the night," NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, states attorneys general, federal officials and five major banks have agreed on a plan that will provide about $26 billion in mortgage relief and aid to homeowners who got crushed when the housing bubble burst.

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